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Intro:  The  Gospel  of  Luke  .  .  .  The  word  salvation  is  so  multifaceted.  There  are  so  many  words  and  metaphors  and  concepts  that  the   Bible  uses  to  describe  salvation:  We  move  from  being  an  orphan  to  being  adopted.  We  were  once  condemned  as  guilty  but  now  we   have  been  justified  and  counted  righteous  in  God’s  sight.  Though  we  once  had  an  incalculable  debt,  God  has  forgiven  us  of  that  debt   and  wiped  our  slate  clean.  We  are  transferred  from  the  Kingdom  of  Darkness  to  Kingdom  of  Light.  We  who  were  was  estranged  and   alienated  from  God  have  been  reconciled  to  God.  We  who  once  experienced  spiritual  brokenness  find  healing  through  the  sacrifice  of   Christ.  We  were  enslaved  to  our  rebellious  ways,  but  now  God  has  given  us  freedom  through  the  gospel.  We  were  blind  but  he  gave  us   sight.  We  were  once  dead  but  now  were  are  alive.       “How  Can  Someone  Be  Saved?”   Luke  18:18-­43     The  Point:  Salvation  comes  to  those  who  see  the  worth  of  Christ,  receive  his  mercy  and  follow  him.       Salvation  is  essentially,  following  Jesus.  So  I  want  to  give  you  two  encouragements  on  what  it  looks  to  follow  Christ.  #1…     I.  Follow  Christ  with  absolute  commitment  and  experience  his  rich  rewards  (18:18-­30).     Read  18-­19.     • There  is  a  very  wealthy  ruler  who  comes  and  asks  Jesus  life's  most  important  question:  “Good  teacher,  what  must  I  do  to   inherit  eternal  life?”  This  is  the  same  question  the  lawyer  asked  of  Jesus  in  Luke  10,  which  provoked  the  story  of  the  Merciful   Samaritan.  [This  question  addresses  the  essence  of  salvation.]     • We  ask  a  lot  of  important  questions  in  life...None  are  more  important  than  this.     • Jesus  begins  to  answer  his  question  in  verse  19.  In  his  dialogue  with  the  rich  ruler,  Jesus  lays  out  two  all-­‐important  truths.   Eternal  life  in  Christ  will  cost  you  everything!     • Jesus  teaches  the  ruler  this  by  first  exposing  his  shallow  understanding  of  goodness.  First  he  says,  “If  you  really  understood   goodness,  you  would  know  that  no  one  is  good  except  God  alone.”  Perhaps  Jesus  said  this  with  a  twinkle  in  his  eye,  because   he  was  God  himself,  incarnate  goodness,  standing  before  him  this  man.     • “No  one  is  good  except  God  alone.”  &  Jesus  is  God.    Let  those  words  sink  into  your  hearts:  “No  one  is  good.”  “Oh,  he  or  she  is   such  a  good  person.”    Jesus  makes  clear  that  only  God  is  unique  in  his  perfect  holiness  and  righteousness.  It  is  only  against   the  backdrop  of  the  moral  purity  and  perfection  of  God  that  we  see  how  lacking  our  goodness  really  is.     • And  when  we  see  our  goodness  really  isn’t  that  good,  then  we  will  be  in  a  position  to  see  how  deeply  we  need  God’s   goodness  and  mercy  to  grant  us  eternal  life.   • Secondly,  Jesus  exposes  his  superficial  view  of  goodness  by  testing  him  in  light  of  the  Ten  Commandments.     • Verse  20.  Jesus  lists,  though  not  in  precise  order,  the  fifth  through  ninth  of  the  10  Commandments.  These  all  relate  to  our   relationships  with  other  people.     • The  ruler  responds  in  verse  21.  “Hey,  I’m  a  moral  guy.  Based  on  the  commandments  you  just  listed,  I’m  confident  I’m  in  good   shape!”  This  is  probably  a  sincere,  albeit  presumptuous,  response.     • Rather  than  interrogating  and  exposing  his  lack  of  keeping  these  commandments  perfectly,  Jesus  gets  to  the  heart  of  the   matter  in  v.  22.   • These  next  five  words  are  heavy  words:  “One  thing  you  still  lack.  Sell  all  that  you  have  and  distribute  to  the  poor,  and  you   will  have  treasure  in  heaven;  and  come,  follow  me.”     • And  with  these  words  Jesus  exposes  his  idolatrous  heart  before  God.  “One  thing  you  lack…”   • The  rich  ruler  is  having  that  big  gulp,  that  oh,  no  he  didn’t  just  say  that  to  me  moment.  “Does  he  know  what  I  have?  I  roll  with   Caesar’s  crew.“   • Jesus  shows  the  ruler  how  he  broke  the  last  commandment  (covetousness)  and  how  he  broke  the  first  and  greatest   commandment,  the  commandment  upon  which  all  other  commandments  are  built.  “You  shall  have  no  other  gods  before  me.”   An  idol  is  anything  that  becomes  ultimate  in  our  life  other  than  God.  We  take  the  good  things  God  gives  (work,  sex,  family,   marriage,  money,  recreation,  reputation,  intellect)  and  we  turn  them  into  godlike  things.     Idol  of  Riches   • And  Jesus  will  always  ask  for  our  idols.  Hand  them  over  (hand  outstretched).  Surrender  is  a  key  part  of  faith…   • Money,  whether  we  realize  or  not,  can  become  a  functional  savior  in  our  life.  So  with  Money,  it  becomes  our  creator.  It  makes  us   who  we  are  and  defines  us.  Money  can  become  our  lord.  We  make  all  of  our  decisions  based  on  the  bottom  line.  We  will  or  will   not  take  this  job  solely  because  of  the  money.  Money  can  provide  our  sense  of  security  and  comfort,  our  significance  and  purpose.     • And  we  can  find  our  sense  of  peace  and  satisfaction  in  a  number  of  different  pursuits  under  the  sun.  Just  go  read  Ecclesiastes.     • The  call  of  Christ  to  sell  everything  was  a  mechanism  to  rip  idolatry  out  of  the  life  of  this  rich  man,  so  that  he  would  be  free  to   worship  God.  Jesus  may  tell  you  to  give  up  something  else  completely.  That  is  why  this  is  not  a  command  for  every  disciple  to  sell   everything  they  own  and  live  on  nothing.  Jesus  requires  whatever  would  stand  in  our  way  of  him.  Now,  Christians  should   certainly.       Trans:  So  how  does  the  rich  ruler  respond  to  this  call  to  sell  it  all?  Verse  23   • He  was  faced  w  a  dilemma  and  this  dilemma  made  him  very  sad.  It  could  be  translated,  “very  grieved.”  Why?  Because  he  was   loaded,  and  because  he  loved  his  riches  more  than  he  loved  God.     • Don’t  forget,  we’re  talking  about  eternal  life  here!     • Here’s  the  deal:  many  people  today  would  gladly  follow  Christ,  if  there  was  not  that  one  great  barrier  in  their  way.      

 

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What  is  the  one  thing  holding  you  back  from  a  complete  commitment  to  Jesus?  Is  there  anything  you  unwilling  to  give  up?   Anything  you  treasure  more  than  Jesus?  The  ruler  counted  the  cost  and  said  by  his  actions:  “Jesus  you  are  not  worth  it.”   Verse  24-­25   • Jesus  looked  at  him  and  said:  “How  difficult  for  those  who  have  wealth  to  enter  the  kingdom  of  God!”  Jesus  did  not  hate  the  rich.   He  loved  all  people.    This  is  a  simple  statement  of  fact.     • Then  he  goes  on  to  say:  A  classic  case  of  hyperbole:  “For  it  is  easier  for  a  camel  to  go  thru  the  eye  of  a  needle...”  Jesus  takes  the   largest  animal  in  Palestine,  a  camel,  and  one  of  the  smallest  items  people  would  deal  with  on  a  daily  basis,  thus  creating  a  known   impossibility.  This  explains  the  shock  of  the  disciples.     • Neither  our  righteousness  nor  our  apparent  material  blessings  in  life  can  merit  us  eternal  life.  We  have  to  place  our  commitment   to  Christ  above  everything.     • The  problem  for  the  ruler  was  that  his  riches  were  more  valuable  to  him  than  Jesus.       Trans:  The  call  to  follow  Christ  is  to  allow  nothing  to  stand  in  our  way  of  our  commitment  to  him.  Following  Christ  will  cost   everything,  but  it  will  provide  an  even  greater  reward.       Eternal  life  in  Christ  gives  us  everything!  Read  26-­27   • “Who  then  can  be  saved???”  To  ask  this  question  is  to  ask  the  very  same  question  the  ruler  asked  in  v.  18!  Notice  “inheriting   eternal  life,”  “entering  the  kingdom,”  and  “finding  salvation”  are  all  synonymous  for  Jesus.   • As  we  have  discussed  before  in  Luke,  people  thought  riches  were  a  sign  of  God’s  blessing.  So  the  disciples  were  shocked.  If  this   rich,  moral  guy  could  not  enter  the  kingdom,  who  could?  There  seems  to  be  a  feeling  of  desperation  amongst  the  crowd   • But  Jesus  steps  in  with  words  of  hope:  “What  is  impossible  with  men  is  possible  with  God.”   • God  does  the  impossible.  Salvation  is  a  miraculous  work  of  God.  Blind  eyes  see.  Deaf  ears  hear.  Dead  hearts  beat!     • Every  conversion  is  a  miracle,  so  let’s  pray  for  miracles!  This  is  true  of  your  salvation,  just  as  it  is  true  of  mine.     • While  this  whole  conversation  is  going  on  Peter  is  processing  what  is  being  said,  and  he’s  looking  back  on  his  life  and  says,  “What   about  us???  We  left  everything  to  follow.”     • Read  28-­30.  They  had  truly  answered  the  costly  call  to  follow  Jesus.    We  have  pursued  true  riches  in  you!   • The  rewards  described  by  Jesus  are  staggering.  .  .  .  God  is  to  have  first  place.    I  don’t  know  how  else  to  say  it.  Well,  of  course    I  do,   but  is  that  straight  enough…  Treasured  above  all  else.    “for  the  sake  of  the  kingdom  of  God…”  Promise  of  Reward…  Every  sacrifice   is  worth  it!  We  give  what  we  cannot  keep  to  gain  what  we  cannot  lose.       What  would  happen  if  our  church  would  collectively  answer  this  serious  call  to  follow  Christ  like  Jesus  is  calling  us  to  in  Luke?       II.  Follow  Christ  with  spiritual  sight  and  lead  others  to  glorify  God  (18:31-­43).     Read  31-­34   • Hinge  verses..  Going  up  to  Jerusalem...  He  just  spoke  of  their  sacrifice  for  the  kingdom,  and  now  he  warns  them  of  the  ultimate   sacrifice  he  will  make.  "Everything  that  is  written  about  the  Son  of  Man  by  the  prophets  will  be  accomplished..."   • Prophets…      (Gen  3;  Ps  22;  Is  53)   • “I  gave  my  back  to  those  who  strike,  and  my  cheeks  to  those  who  pull  out  the  beard;  I  hid  not  my  face  from  disgrace  and   spitting.  But  the  Lord  GOD  helps  me;  therefore  I  have  not  been  disgraced;  therefore  I  have  set  my  face  like  a  flint,  and  I  know   that  I  shall  not  be  put  to  shame.  He  who  vindicates  me  is  near.    (Isaiah  50:6-­8a)   • Surprisingly,  Luke  helps  us  understand  how  drastically  the  disciples  failed  to  understand.  “But  they  understood  none  of  these   things.”  They  didn’t  get  it.  “This  saying  was  hidden  from  them,”  They  didn’t  get  it!  “And  they  did  not  grasp  what  was  said.”  They   did  not  get  it!     • A  suffering  Messiah  was  still  a  foreign  notion  to  even  Jesus'  closest  followers.  They  thought  of  the  coming  redeemer  in  triumphant   terms,  but  Jesus  tells  his  disciples  the  plan  so  that  when  it  happens,  they  will  remember  and  understand  that  the  cross  is  the   fulfillment  of  God’s  plan  from  the  very  beginning  not  some  kind  of  tragic  accident.     • Have  you  ever  had  a  great  plan  and  then  discovered  you  needed  to  improvise…    (Daryl  &  Emily’s  wedding…)   • Eternal  covenant  of  redemption…  Plan  A…  No  need  to  improvise  The  shadow  of  the  cross  is  growing  larger  and  larger.  In  a  few   short  days,  Jesus  will  step  into  the  Passion  Week.     Trans:  Verse  34  teaches  us  that  the  disciples  did  not  have  the  spiritual  sight  to  see  what  Christ  was  saying.  Verses  35-­‐43  tell  us  of  a   man  who  also  could  not  see,  but  his  involved  not  his  spiritual  sight,  but  his  physical  sight.       Read  35-­43   • In  these  verses  we  come  to  the  last  miracle  proper  in  the  Gospel  of  Luke.  In  Mark’s  gospel  we  discover  the  blind  man’s  name  was   Bartimaeus  (Mk  10:46).  Like  any  other  day,  this  blind  finds  himself  begging  by  the  roadside  in  hopes  that  people  would  extend   mercy  to  him  sparing  some  small  change  or  sliding  him  a  piece  of  bread.  But  there  was  something  different  about  this  particular   day.  He  heard  the  raucous  of  a  crowd,  and  on  this  ordinary  day,  he  is  given  the  most  extraordinary  opportunity.   • He  asks  what  is  going  on,  and  the  crowd  told  him,  Jesus  of  Nazereth  is  passing  by.   • When  he  hears  this,  he  wasted  no  time...  He  cries  out,  "Jesus,  Son  of  David,  have  mercy  on  me."  He  must  have  heard  of  Jesus  and   his  miraculous  work.  Those  who  were  in  front  of  him  told  him  to  be  silent.  No  simple  be  quiet,  don't  say  anything  else.  &  they   rebuked  him.  The  marginalized  are  often  treated  with  this  kind  of  disrespect  &  contempt.     • But  I  love  Bartimaeus.  He  does  not  allow  anything  to  stand  in  his  way!  Peer  pressure  is  totally  disregarded.  He  refused  to  be   silent.  These  are  the  cries  of  a  desperate  man.  The  blind  man  addresses  Jesus  with  a  messianic  title,     •

 

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2  Samuel  7:12-­‐16.  The  Messiah  would  be  the  one  to  defeat  all  of  Israel’s  enemies  and  reign  forever  on  the  throne  of  David  with   justice  and  righteousness.  He  is  the  one  who  gives  sight  to  the  blind  (Luke  4  &  11)   40:  Jesus  stops.  As  death  is  staring  in  his  face,  he  stops.  The  others-­‐centeredness  of  Jesus  is  astounding…      

•   Spiritual  Blindness  and  Spiritual  Sight  (Jesus  called  the  religious  leaders,  Pharisees,  Blind  guides…  Blind  leading  the  blind)     • Until  we  see  our  need,  we  will  never  seek  God's  mercy.  You  say,  that’s  obvious  for  the  blind  guy,  of  course  he  knows  he  has  a   need.  Yep!  But  if  we  had  eyes  to  see  like  he  could  see  on  this  day,  we  too  what  see  our  deep  need  before  God.     • Faith  is  spiritual  sight.  Faith  sees  what  others  can’t  see.  The  great  irony  here  is  that  the  blind  man  is  the  one  who  sees   • He  heard  faith  in  his  cries.  Faith  cries  out!  Simple  prayers  of  need…  Lord,  let  me  see.  God  be  merciful  to  me.     • And  we  all  need  God  to  open  our  eyes  that  we  might  see  our  need  and  see  his  sufficiency.  Salvation  comes  no  other  way.   • Listen  to  Paul’s  words  in  2  Cor.  4:1-­‐6:  “Therefore,  having  this  ministry  by  the  mercy  of  God,  we  do  not  lose  heart.  But  we   have  renounced  disgraceful,  underhanded  ways.  We  refuse  to  practice  cunning  or  to  tamper  with  God's  word,  but  by  the   open  statement  of  the  truth  we  would  commend  ourselves  to  everyone's  conscience  in  the  sight  of  God.  And  even  if  our   gospel  is  veiled,  it  is  veiled  to  those  who  are  perishing.  In  their  case  the  god  of  this  world  has  blinded  the  minds  of  the   unbelievers,  to  keep  them  from  seeing  the  light  of  the  gospel  of  the  glory  of  Christ,  who  is  the  image  of  God.  For  what  we   proclaim  is  not  ourselves,  but  Jesus  Christ  as  Lord,  with  ourselves  as  your  servants  for  Jesus'  sake.  For  God,  who  said,   “Let  light  shine  out  of  darkness,”  has  shone  in  our  hearts  to  give  the  light  of  the  knowledge  of  the  glory  of  God  in  the  face   of  Jesus  Christ.”  (2  Corinthians  4:1-­6  ESV)   • App:  This  is  a  way  to  pray.  God,  “open  blind  eyes.  Do  the  impossible.  Do  something.  Wake  them  up.  Shock  them  into  seeing  thei   vanity  and  emptiness  of  their  current  life  and  the  satisfaction  that  is  found  in  you.       What  is  the  result  and  response  of  this  faith?    Read  42-­43   • “Your  faith  has  made  you  well.“    The  phrase  “made  you  well”  is  from  the  same  word  we  saw  in  verse  26  for  “salvation.”   Salvation/Healing/Made  Well…   • Bartimaeus  experienced  both  physical  and  spiritual  healing.  This  is  evidenced  in  how  he  responds.     • He  follows  Christ.  The  rich  man  would  not  follow.  This  once  blind  man  could  not  help  but  follow.  He  experiences  the  kingdom,   which  continues  Luke’s  theme,  especially  throughout  the  Travelogue  (chapters  10-­‐19),  that  humble  outcasts  are  those  who   receive  God’s  mercy  and  salvation.  (Strauss)     Mission!   • You  go  glorify  God  with  your  life.  There  is  no  doubt  this  included  words,  by  the  way.  “Yeah,  that  was  me!”  You  go  do  that,  and   others  will  follow  suit.     • “And  all  the  people,  when  they  saw  it,  gave  praise  to  God.”  Praise  elicits  praise!!!     • It  is  always  a  great  time  to  share  your  faith,  but  let  me  say  that  the  summer  time  (people  are  out…  loving  life,  doing  their  thing,  at   the  parks,  bustling  about  the  city…  Let’s  be  ready  to  initiate  our  witness  among  blind  people  who  need  to  hear.   • Now,  I  wouldn’t  suggest  going  up  and  starting  a  conversation  by  saying,  “Yeah,  my  pastor  says  you’re  blind,  and  I  want  to  help   you  see.     • Let  me  tell  you,  there  is  nothing  better  than  possessing  salvation  in  Christ  and  telling  others  about  him.     • What  must  we  do  to  inherit  eternal  life?  Believe  on  Christ  and  Receive  his  mercy.       Conclusion:     We  are  about  to  commission  12  people  going  on  summer  missions.  We  all  have  a    mission  here….  Today  I  want  to  invite  you  to  see  the   impossible.  Who  in  your  life  is  impossible?"  Is  it  people  in  India?  Is  it  your  neighbor  across  the  street?  For  some,  you  may  be  saying  it’s   me!  You  would  say,  “Before  today,  I  did  not  realize  that  I  could  have  a  real,  vibrant  relationship  with  God  through  placing  my  faith  in   Jesus  and  what  he  did  for  me  in  his  life,  death,  and  resurrection.”     We’re  going  to  sing    “REIGN  IN  US.”  “So  reign,  please  reign  in  us.  Come  purify  our  hearts,  we  need  your  touch.  Come  cleanse  like  a  flood   and  send  us  out,  so  the  world  may  know  you  reign,  you  reign  in  us.”    

 

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